What We Do

Greater Lansing is defined by its arts and culture sector: our cultural organizations, artists and proud history of creative expression are at the root of its identity, vitality and economic growth.

As a membership and service organization, working on behalf of this sector, the Arts Council of Greater Lansing believes in supporting the growth of arts organizations and their audiences; working to keep the arts in schools; strengthening the “business of being an artist;” preserving the diverse cultural activities in our communities; and empowering and coordinating the effort of artists and organizations to make a difference in our neighborhoods.

Since our founding in 1965, we’ve played a key role in ensuring the health and vitality of arts and culture in greater Lansing with a mission to support, strengthen and promote arts, culture and creativity.

Arts Council Current Initiative Highlights:
  • Increasing grant opportunities for individual artists and cultural organizations: The Arts Council's Artist in the Community Grants and Chris Clark Fellowship cultivate lasting support for local artists and encourage new project collaborations among area arts and cultural organizations. This, coupled with four other grant programs, allows the Arts Council to administer over $275,000 in arts grants annually.
  • Providing technical assistance and capacity-building programs in the professional development of artists and arts leaders: The Arts Council provides educational workshops and personalized consultations and professional support that helps hundreds of cultural organizations and artists annually build a better foundation for themselves as they deliver creative programs throughout the tri-county region.  
  • Connecting local artists and cultural organizations with regional economic, entrepreneurial and workforce initiatives: In 2009, the Arts Council worked alongside the City of Lansing, the City of East Lansing, Michigan State University and many others, to develop a ten-year Cultural Economic Development Plan for Greater Lansing's urban center. This plan became the road map for using the creative sector to develop our local economy and is the driver behind some of our creative placemaking initiatives, like our annual Creative Placemaking Summit and our advocacy for 517 Creative Spaces.
  • Representing a stronger voice for support of arts and culture at the local level: The Arts Council promotes arts and culture through a wide range of marketing iniatitves, such as our Billboard Project and our monthly e-newsletters and emails. The Arts Council also helps constituents with effective advocacy for the arts through the dissemination of statewide and national findings, reports and providing legislative contacts. We are dedicated to building a strong working relationship with the local school districts as well to provide access to all children through creative endeavors.
  • Serving as a convening agent for local arts and cultural organization: The Arts Council of Greater Lansing lends support for numerous festivals that celebrate art and culture through exhibits, performances, cultural activities and educational opportunities through the Festival Alliance.